“I’m in it for a fair outcome,” says Merricks. “If Mastercard do come up with a sensible settlement, I will certainly consider it. I want consumers to be properly compensated. I don’t want this case to go on longer than it needs to.”

Walter Merricks: You’re always nervous in a court case. But I have lots of energy and I have a lot of different things going on.’ Photograph: Sophia Evans/The Observer

Nosheen Iqbal
The Observer
Sat 20 Apr 2019 16.00

The consumers’ champion chasing Mastercard for £14bn

Ex-financial ombudsman Walter Merricks tells why he took on the case that could now pay each adult in the UK £300

When the Consumer Rights Act came into force in 2015, one man was keeping a keen eye on businesses failing to serve their customers properly. So when Mastercard didn’t respond to a ruling from the European commission that it was profiting unfairly on transaction fees, the “lack of contrition” propelled him into action.

Joining forces with the largest law firm in the world devoted solely to business litigation, Walter Merricks decided to take on the biggest class action in British history, believing millions of consumers had paid higher prices in shops for 16 years because of allegedly excessive transaction fees. “I thought, ‘Right. You’re on’,” the former financial ombudsman told the Observer. “Let’s make this go.”

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